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    Discipline Office Frequently Asked Questions

    What is my child’s school required to do if my child is not attending school?

    Schools are required to take daily attendance and notify parents/guardians after everyabsence. The school must schedule a conference with the parent/guardian and student todiscuss truant behavior after two or more unexcused absences. The school must takesteps to determine why the student is not attending school and help develop a plan toreturn the student to regular attendance.

    What happens if a truancy petition is filed on my child?

    The Truancy Office holds weekly truancy workshops to help students identify the issues keeping them from attending school and to create a new plan for how to attend school regularly. If the student continues to be truant, the Truancy Office asks Juvenile Court to set a truancy hearing where the student will explain why he/she is not attending school.The court may order the student to attend.

    Does a student who violates a truancy order go to detention? Will his/her parent be arrested and taken to jail?

    The Truancy Office and Juvenile Court are more interested in returning a student to school than in punishment. A student who violates a court order to attend school may be assigned other tasks or have other punishments, such as wearing an ankle bracelet or attending weekend sessions at Juvenile Court, but it is unlikely in King County that Detention will be ordered. Parents are never arrested or jailed when their child is truant, even if the court determines that the parent is the cause of the student’s truancy

    My child was disciplined and sent home from school. Shouldn't someone at the school call me first? Shouldn’t I get something in writing?

    Parents must be notified that their child is being disciplined, both by phone and with a written Notice of Disciplinary Action. Best efforts must be made to contact parents by phone prior to implementing any discipline. Written NDA’s must be sent home within 24 hours of the incident.

    My child was disciplined, but I don't know what happened. Isn't someone supposed to tell me what happened?

    You have the right to talk with the person who disciplined your child and get a complete explanation about what happened and why your child was disciplined. This person will likely be the assistant principal or head teacher, but it may also be the principal.

    My child was suspended for a district offense. Are there any alternatives to the out of-school suspension received?

    Elementary students are not suspended for district offenses. Alternatives to suspension for elementary students include family conferences, modifying the student’s environment,positive intervention supports to teach and encourage expected behavior, and other school-based interventions intended to resolve matters without need to remove the student from school.

    Secondary students may not be suspended for a first violation of a district offense. Before imposing an out-of-school sanction, the administrator should have met with the family,attempted positive intervention supports to teach and encourage expected behavior, and attempted at least one school-based intervention with the student.

    My child was suspended. Does he/she get to make up any missed school work, labs,field trips, or other one-time activities?

    Students are entitled to make up missed work when they are short-term suspended or long-term suspended for 15 days or less. Missed labs may not be made up unless special arrangements have been negotiated and the teacher is willing to set something special up for your child. Missed field trips, presentations by guest speakers, or other one-time presentations may not be made up. However, if any portion of the student's grade is determined by the field trip or presentation, this portion must be not counted in calculating the student's grade for the class.

    How do I appeal if my child was suspended and I don’t agree with the disciplinary action?

    For a short-term suspension of 10 days or less, call the school within 3 days and make an appointment with the principal for a Step 1 Grievance meeting. The principal must meet with you within 2 days of your request. If after your meeting with the principal, you still disagree with the short-term suspension, call the Discipline Appeal Office at 252-0820 and ask for a Step 2 Grievance meeting with a hearing officer. In most cases this meeting will be held within three days of your appeal.

    For a long-term suspension of 11 days or longer or an expulsion, call the Discipline Appeal Office at 252-0820 within three (3) days of learning that your child was suspended or expelled. The secretary in that office will set up an appeal hearing with a neutral hearing officer to be held within three (3) days of your call.

    The letter from the hearing officer will direct you how to get your child back in school,depending upon what his/her decision is regarding whether the school had the right to discipline your child in the manner they used.

    If you disagree with the decision of the hearing officer, you must write a letter within three(3) days of getting the decision letter to the Student Discipline Appeals office at the address at the bottom of the decision letter to request an appeal to the School Board.

    Can my child go to a game or attend a dance or some other school activity whether it is held at school or at a non-school site if he/she is suspended or expelled?

    Your child may not attend any school activities or trespass on school property. Even if the activity or game is at a non-school site (such as a dance at a local hotel), it is still a school activity and your child may not participate in school activities while suspended or expelled.

    Does the district have a policy for continuing the education of suspended or expelled students?

    Secondary suspended or expelled students will enroll in the Reentry Program to continue their education and receive instruction in anger/conflict management and other behavior improvements. Elementary students may not be suspended longer than 10 days, and if expelled from a school will be reassigned to another appropriate elementary school immediately.